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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Students Organize "March for Our Lives" Rally This Sunday in Fort Thomas

A demonstration in Washington DC  brought thousands of young people from across the country to demand gun reform. Fort Thomas students will rally this Sunday. (photo: Creative Commons license)

By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

This Sunday, March 24, Fort Thomas students and community members will rally and march as part of the nationwide March for Our Lives effort called to protest gun violence and urge legislators to pass stronger gun laws and protections.

Students from Highlands High School will be joined by other students across the district as well as area citizens of all ages starting at 10 a.m. in Tower Park for a rally followed by a march to Highlands High School.

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A little over a year ago, a gunman opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 and wounding another 17 more. Following the incident, students from the school spoke out strongly about the epidemic of gun violence across the country and demanded stronger gun legislation.

"Since the Parkland shooting there has been federal legislation proposed throughout this year, but bill S.42, introduced a couple of weeks ago, is the first gun violence bill in 25 years. It is expected to come up for consideration in the Senate on March 26," said Highlands High senior Sydney Cooper, one of the march organizers.

The bill, also known as the Background Check Expansion Act, would expand background checks to all gun sales. At present unlicensed private sellers are not required to conduct background checks when transferring a firearm. The bill would expand requirements to cover these sales.

"We are going in support of the bill. Mitch McConnell has received a lot of money from the NRA, and we want to stand up to him and say we are his constituents.... There have been 321 gun deaths in the U.S. just since the beginning of 2019. It’s an epidemic and federal and state legislators have done nothing to stop it even though their constituents want this."

The marchers also want to protest the passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 150 signed by Governor Bevin two weeks ago. The law no longer requires law-abiding gun owners to obtain a conceal carry permit or training. Cooper said the bill put Kentucky gun control and safety back ten years or more.

Marchers will gather on the lawn in front of the Mess Hall. A representative of Moms Demand Action, as well as a student from Moyer Elementary and area high school students will speak at the rally.

Tower Park is located at 900 South Fort Thomas Avenue. The march will end at Highlands High, 2400 Memorial Parkway.

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